October is Pet Obesity Awareness Month. Fido and Fluffy are both very, very skilled at cajoling us into giving them treats and snacks, and sometimes extra portions. We know that many people like to spoil their pets by offering food. However, overfeeding your four-legged friend will do more harm than good in the long run. A local Oshawa, ON vet offers some advice on keeping your pet fit in this article.
Portion sizes play a bigger role in pet obesity than many people realize. Even giving your dog or cat just ten calories too many each day can cause them to gain a pound a year. That may not be a lot for a person, but it’s quite a bit for Fido and Fluffy, especially if it continues year after year. Use a measuring cup to portion out kibble, and dole out canned food according to recommended serving sizes and, of course, your vet’s advice.
Perfect portion control is great, but if you overdo it with the treats, you’re still overfeeding Fido and Fluffy. Snacks are fine. In fact, they’re beneficial. They’re great for training and bonding, and are a simple way to brighten up your furry buddy’s day. The key thing is not to overdo it. Treats should only make up about five to at most ten percent of your cute pet’s daily caloric intake.
The other major factor that goes into your pet’s weight is their fitness routine … or lack thereof. Dogs need at least a daily walk. Most pups will also benefit from play sessions, and/or other activities such as swimming. Of course, doggy workouts can vary drastically from pup to pup, so ask your vet for specific advice. Exercise is important for cats, too. Provide Fluffy with lots of toys, and take time to play with her regularly. Kitties also will benefit from having furniture that keeps them active, such as towers or wheels.
There are a few other things that can come into play with your furry pal’s weight. Genetics is one. Certain breeds are more prone to packing on extra pounds than others. Age also plays a role. Last but not least, pets can also gain extra pounds because of medical issues, such as diabetes. If your four-legged friend is suddenly getting pudgy and you aren’t sure why, contact your vet immediately.Do you have questions about caring for your pet? Contact us, your Oshawa, ON animal clinic!